Delectable, butter-heavy French delights made easy.
Paula Deen isn’t the only one cornering the market on buttery creations. French pastry chef Marechal (Irresistible Macaroons, 2011, etc.) continues his Les Petits Plats Francais series with this beautifully photographed selection of elegant, bite-sized complements to frothy coffee drinks. To begin, he recommends purchasing cookie cutters, paper liners (“cases”) and silicone sheets and molds for best results, but he offers alternatives using more common kitchen equipment like spatulas and non-stick baking trays. Elegance abounds in his indulgent delicacies: Florentines with almonds, pistachios, and candied orange peel; meringues; truffles; miniature varieties of canneles, madeleines, waffles and brownies; and sinfully silky, refrigerator-friendly vanilla, cocoa, coffee and chicory-flavored mini cream pots. While most recipes are everyday-baker-friendly, Marechal includes some daring challenges. Readers willing to go the extra mile will bookmark recipes for beautifully fragile spun sugar balls that require little more than a candy thermometer, sugar and “slight of hand.” Crisp cookie “tuiles” may appear daunting, but the author’s instructions are straightforward and worry-free. Most items are made with some combination of butter, superfine (“caster”) sugar, cream and flour. Maybe not for dieters, but these treats are fashioned to delicately stroke the sweet tooth and act as the perfect compliment to a hot café beverage.
A charming, glossy book of sweet Parisian morsels.